The ride to Orlando was uneventful, overall. Bennett became a little fussy, but thanks to my 6 year old nephew, Isaac, we were able to keep him satisfied. Along with a billion other people, we arrived at ESPN's Wide World of Sports to pick up our race packets/goodie bag. I was pleased with the organization of packet pick up, but not so pleased with the Expo or our goodie bags. I feel like if you pay $140, + a few, the expo should be large, the goodie bag should be over the top, and the race should be FANTASTIC. I was highly disappointed in Disney. Our goodie bags had a very nice long sleeved Disney Half Marathon shirt, a sample of Shot Blocks, and two samples of analgesic creams. THAT IS IT!!! I couldn't believe.....Sorry, I am moving on.
We settled into the hotel, ate dinner, put the kids to bed, prepared our gear, and were off to bed for a 3:50 a.m. wake up time. That's right...3:50 a.m. The race began at 5:30 and we were to be in our corral by 5 a.m. I had been in bed about 30 to 45 minutes when I began hearing the people above us walk back and forth, run back and forth, stomp, walk, run...you get the picture. It was driving me crazy and in the process I woke Sam up, which also lead to his inability to sleep. Things eventually settled, then Bennett decided to wake up at 2 a.m......TO PLAY!!! He played and talked and laughed for a full HOUR. Needless to say 3:50 came and I was very tired.
We stopped at the port-a-potties during the first mile, but didn't spend more than a couple of minutes stopped. Our plan was to run 1 mile, and walk a minute throughout the race. I had anticipated a 11:30 minute pace according to the training runs I had done with Michelle. This was my second half, but Michelle's first, which makes a huge difference when it comes to speed, pace, and fatigue. We finished the first 3 miles in 36 min 20 seconds which was quite a bit slower than I had expected, but we had made a stop, so that is probably the reason for the extra minute. We both felt good during the first 3 miles and enjoyed listening to bands, seeing a few Disney characters, and the Epcot hot air balloon. Much to my surprise, we also saw Sam at about 1.2 miles. He ran with us for a few minutes telling us they wouldn't let him out of the park and that my in-laws were taking care of Bennett, so not to worry.
At mile 6, we were averaging an 11:36 min/mile. Sometime around mile 5 my left hip and knee began hurting, but not bad enough to cause me to stop.....besides that I felt great. We ran through Magic Kingdom during this stretch which was my favorite part, besides the finish. It was fun to see all of the spectators, to run through the castle, and to see the park without all of the patrons pushing you in every direction. However, there were so many runners that we were in a pack the entire race, causing it to feel like we were being pushed around (especially when the course was narrow).
One of the biggest highlights of the race was passing Al Roker from the Today show between mile 7 and 8. It put a little hop in my step....The pain in my left hip and knee continued, but at this point, our pace allowed me to keep going without much difficulty. I stayed a little in front of Michelle, dropping back occasionally to encourage her to keep pushing on. Mile 9 through 11.5 of the race had a very boring view. Once we entered Epcot it got a little better, but we still spent a lot of time running through parking lots and around loading docks. Again disappointing to spend $140+.
We saw Sam again at mile 12, which made me smile and get a little emotional. Overall, I had felt good the whole race and I knew I could finish, but I never thought I would be back to running this distance only 9 months after Bennett was born. When I saw Sam I felt proud that I had done it....with his and Michelle's help.
We finished the race in 2 hours 31 minutes, which was an 11:32 minute/mile pace. You can check out Michelle's account HERE.
Since the race, my left foot has been KILLING me. I have been trying to rest, ice, stretch, gently massage, take meds, and stay hopeful that it will pass. I hope it does, because I have a goal.....I want to run the Gasparilla Half Marathon with Sam on February 26th. I just want to see how fast I can go. I know if Sam runs with me, he will push me harder than I can push myself. However, I must get this left leg/foot pain under control, so I can get back to training.